Discernment or Judgment? by Laura De León
Many of us are gifted with extreme sensitivity and very loving and tender hearts. Because of this it is important to learn how to be more discerning about the places we go and the people we surround ourselves with. But when we feel the need to “…cut off the heads of others in order to feel taller” we are talking about something entirely different.
It is really not such a fine line between discernment and judgment in our hearts. I feel that if our intent is love…for ourselves and those around us, then how we walk in the world will always lead to more love. But if we have an agenda that is based in fear, fear of not being enough, being left behind…then that insecurity may create judgments in an attempt to make ourselves feel better at the cost of someone else if we do not stay conscious.
Not too long ago I heard some news that was quite upsetting to me at the time. It seems that during the most private and sacred part of a weekend workshop I took part in, I was being judged by a friend on the way I expressed my feelings. I felt deeply hurt that they could look into my heart and so misread me. But after the initial shock wore off, and believing I created this moment for a reason, I decided to take this opportunity to do some healing work on myself.
I knew that I would not have been so deeply affected by the judgment if there were not a place inside me already wounded in that emotional area. As I sat back, closed my eyes and connected with my breath, I was able to tap into the pain that the judgment brought up for me. I was able to track it back to the original wound of feeling laughed at and judged as a child. I was 11 yrs. old when my family moved from Chicago into the suburbs of Illinois. I was plucked from the safety of a multi-cultural city to a homogenized suburban neighborhood that did not tolerate differences. From my first day of 4th grade in my new school until I became a freshman in High School I was taunted on a daily basis.
That sweet little girl did not understand she was being judged, not by her heart, but by the fear of others around the color of her skin. Not understanding that their hate had nothing to do with who I was, I blamed myself, and internalized the shame. It is easy to understand now why my friend’s judgment about my emotions would trigger the memory of being judged as a little girl.
The gift from that experience from my childhood is that it taught me true compassion for others and how to support those in need. But, it also left me tender and insecure in places that were, in that moment, coming up for healing.
As an adult I can find true compassion for that sweet little girl and in turn for my emotional reaction to feeling judged. The healing happens when we are finally able to give ourselves the love and tenderness we needed way back then and reclaim more and more of our true nature, which is love.
As I continued with the process I begin to see that if I could be emotionally triggered by this situation perhaps my friend was triggered by something in the ceremony as well…something that may have brought back painful memories and emotions for him. And, because he did not know how to process those painful emotions, he used judgment to protect the feeling of vulnerability.
As human beings we can all understand feeling vulnerable and well as how tender and scary it can be to feel this way if we have been pushing it down a long time. All of us have come up against our own fears at times in our lives and have not always behaved perfectly in every situation so we can relate to this sweet soul. We all know how painful these emotional wounds can be until we begin to have the courage to look deeper, feel the pain of the past, and give ourselves the tenderness and understanding we are longing for so we can finally let it go.
Once I truly understood the dynamics of the situation it was easy to find love and compassion for my friend. I know that others have had the same compassion for me at one time or other for which I am very grateful.
When we learn how to process in this way there is no longer a need to suffer from the pain of the past for any length of time. Because now we know that when we are ready and willing to do the work inside of ourselves the world around us changes. Now that we understand how judgment is created AND how to turn it around it ALL becomes a healing experience and a cause for celebration.
Being discerning about how and with whom we spend our time and energy is a very important skill. But, if we are saying it is discernment while continually pointing out the faults of others, it is most likely FEAR creating judgment in an attempt to hide feelings of inadequacy, hurt or shame – feelings that are calling out to be loved, accepted and healed by us through our inner wisdom and the love and compassion of our beautiful hearts.
It does not feel good to any of us to be judged by another, but if we are willing to work from The inside Out it can change all of the pain of the past into a beautiful gift of consciousness for the planet.
Laura De León